So it's one thing getting people to contribute their spare processor cycles to a noble cause like Folding@Home, but it would be quite another convincing gamers to leave their PS3s on at night so that large companies -- like the ones that they perceive screw them over on a regular basis -- can solve tough problems and make even more money. Yet the Financial Times is reporting that Sony has already fielded several inquiries from private firms keen on doing just that, harnessing the power of all those idle Cell processors to simulate a relatively cheap cheap supercomputer; of course, this leaves the Japanese giant in a sticky situation of trying to capitalize on that interest in the wake of a likely backlash from owners. The simplest solution? Offer gamers a carrot, or in this case, free points, products, exclusives, etc., etc. -- something so they feel like they're profiting too, and ideally, in direct correlation to the amount of time they donate. So far this is only speculation and conjecture, though, so turn down that beeping on your swag radar -- and make sure that whatever you do, you don't let Sony bribe you into giving up all your Folding donations for a few bonus game maps and a bunch of stickers for your controller.

[Via Joystiq]